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Let the Games begin!
It’s hard not to be excited when the world’s biggest event comes to your town. The Olympic Games generates a huge level of excitement and passion even among those who don’t usually care about sport. Since July 2005, when Olympic chief Jacques Rogge announced that London would host the games of the 30th Olympiad, the United Kingdom has been on a bumpy but exciting journey.
However, in the days preceding the Games, the cynicism about security issues, traffic congestion and the ongoing recession evaporated as the Olympic torch made its way through the streets of London. The Trinidadians and Tobagonians in London were not about to be left out of the excitement. For although many of them grumble about the bad weather, the crowded tube trains and the strangeness of some British attitudes, the Olympics is, after all, an excuse to have a party.
Denise, who is originally from Woodbrook, has the unique opportunity of volunteering at the Olympic Village. Olympic volunteers are not allowed to talk to the media, so her last name cannot be published—but she could say that the feeling in London was one of heightened expectation.
“For the most part it's like that feeling of anticipation that you get at home in the week prior to Carnival. The positive suspense, expectancy and waiting for the ‘ahh’ moments. “Lots of people weren’t feeling it until they were caught up in the crowd during the Torch Relay in Central London,” she said. “Some of my friends weren't into it at all, but feeling the excitement and happiness of the crowds, they got caught up and are now really looking forward to it.''
On social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Trinis in London were waxing lyrical about London’s Olympic fever. Natasha Solano, who has been living in London for more than 12 years, posted on her Facebook wall, “I’m so excited!! Can't wait for my hometown and Britain to put on a quirky, musical, colourful, cultural, eccentric opening ceremony—just what I love about it! Seven years I have been waiting! Let the games begin!”
Even the Trinidadians visiting London got in the act. Roger Roberts, a member of rapso trio 3canal, is in London to perform at the Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Village and he posted a hilarious video clip on Facebook of the Olympic torch relay as it passed fleetingly in front of him.
The video opens on crowds of people standing on a sidewalk waving Union Jacks and cheering, but it was impossible to see the flash of fire going past. Above the cheering, you can hear Roberts shouting like an excited schoolboy, “Look the torch, I seeing it! Look it, look it, the torch!” Simone Williams compared the Olympic experience to when the Soca Warriors were in the World Cup in Germany in 2006.
“We didn’t have a chance in Germany, and we might not be in the running for all the medals like Jamaica, but our patriotism is no less. “My co-workers know that a Trini is in the place because I have my red, white and black all over my desk. I love London and right now, I love being a Trini in London, it’s a matter of pride.”
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